Wow. T-Mobile and Danger, the Microsoft-owned subsidiary that makes the Sidekick, has just announced that they’ve likely lost all user data that was being stored on Microsoft’s servers due to a server failure. That means that any contacts, photos, calendars, or to-do lists that haven’t been locally backed up are gone. Apparently if you don’t turn off your Sidekick and make sure its battery doesn’t run out you can salvage what’s currently stored on the device, otherwise you’re out of luck: Microsoft/Danger is describing the likelihood of recovering the data from their servers as “extremely low”.
T-Mobile Sidekick users have been suffering from a major outage all week, and that issue apparently hasn’t been resolved either.
This goes beyond FAIL, face-palm, or any of the other internet memes we’ve come to associate with incompetence. The fact that T-Mobile and/or Microsoft Danger don’t have a redundant backup is simply inexcusable, especially given the fact that the Sidekick is totally reliant on the cloud because it doesn’t store its data locally. Microsoft acquired Danger for $500 million in February 2008.
Update:: There is some speculation that this was not actually caused by a server meltdown, but by Danger’s failure to make a backup before a Storage Area Network upgrade that was botched.
The full letter to customers is below.
T-MOBILE AND MICROSOFT/DANGER STATUS UPDATE ON SIDEKICK DATA DISRUPTION
Dear valued T-Mobile Sidekick customers:
T-Mobile and the Sidekick data services provider, Danger, a subsidiary of Microsoft, are reaching out to express our apologies regarding the recent Sidekick data service disruption. We appreciate your patience as Microsoft/Danger continues to work on maintaining platform stability, and restoring all services for our Sidekick customers.
Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger’s latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device – such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos – that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low. As such, we wanted to share this news with you and offer some tips and suggestions to help you rebuild your personal content. You can find these tips at the T-Mobile Sidekick Forums (http://www.t-mobile.com/sidekick ). We encourage you to visit the Forums on a regular basis to access the latest updates as well as FAQs regarding this service disruption.
In addition, we plan to communicate with you on Monday (Oct. 12) the status of the remaining issues caused by the service disruption, including the data recovery efforts and the Download Catalog restoration which we are continuing to resolve. We also will communicate any additional tips or suggestions that may help in restoring your content.
We recognize the magnitude of this inconvenience. Our primary efforts have been focused on restoring our customers’ personal content. We also are considering additional measures for those of you who have lost your content to help reinforce how valuable you are as a T-Mobile customer.
We continue to advise customers to NOT reset their device by removing the battery or letting their battery drain completely, as any personal content that currently resides on your device will be lost.
Once again, T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger regret any and all inconvenience this matter has caused.